The first time I met Michael McHugh I was twelve years old. I had no clue that I wanted to be a writer and I had no idea that five years later I would consider Michael McHugh my greatest role model.
Editor and Chief of MiNDFOOD magazine, creator of McHugh media and father to three children, (his children being as golden as he is) Mr McHugh has lived a big life. I heard Oprah say that and I had no clue what she meant, until now.
Because in half a lifetime or even less then that Mr McHugh has lived big and achieved exceptional greatness. You’d think perhaps that this put him on a pedestal and you’d be right.
Not the kind of pedestal that is built from riches or the presence of arrogance in success, but a pedestal that you can’t help but look to in absolute amazement. In all his successes and greatness McHugh has remained gracious and kind. He’s always ready to offer anything to anyone if it would help them toward their journey to live big and he even offered a girl such as myself, feature in his magazine.
When I went into that studio that day with all the people, and their professional equipment set up, I didn’t feel in over my head. That is not because I knew what I was doing, I had no clue.
The closest I had come to Stephen Tilley before this day, is pretty damn far away from Stephen Tilley.
However I felt like I could handle it. Michael’s face was the first one I saw and he radiated kindness and belief. Belief in me. I cannot tell you what it felt like to have someone like him believe in me. I imagine it akin to knowing that someone loves you, when you look at your husband or wife and you know “Oh my god I can do anything because someone’s got my back” that is how it felt.
When I feel in over my head, his belief in me will be enough to keep going of that I am sure. I have faced a lot to get here, I will continue to face more because I want to have a big life.
I don’t want to play small and when I get to my successes I will be sure to carry myself with the same compassion that McHugh exemplifies. We should all aim to put compassion and kindness first. There is no greater achievement then that and I will keep working until every person knows that fact.
So today know that you can play big, you can live big if you put compassion first. Who knows perhaps one day my name will be on a MiNDFOOD byline.
A huge thank you to my other inspiration’s Sarah Harvey and Stephen Tilley. If I become half as talented as you both, I will have made it.